Tag Archives: Hemlock Society

Chotushkone (2014)

Written by Abhikendu Deb Roy

Ratings: 4/5.

Cinema and Death – these two issues connect and bind together every reel of Srijit Mukherji’s sixth outing Chotushkone.

Playing with the film tones in Jaatiswar, adding elements of a thriller in 22shey Srabon or introducing a number of sub plots in Hemlock Society – Srijit seems to have culminated all his learnings from his past outings in his recent release and he undoubtedly looks improved.

When the masters of cinema – Aparna Sen, Goutam Ghose, Chiranjit Chakraborty and Parambrata Chatterjee – form the four angles of the mystique thriller, you know that nothing go wrong in the acting department. Parambrata, however, receives a special mention for his outstanding act in the climax.

Apart from these four, an ensemble cast of Paayel Sarkar, Indrasish Roy, Rahul Banerjee among many others play their part sincerely and honestly. But that one cameo that stands out from the rest is of Kaushik Ganguly’s. His acting is undoubtedly going to leave you spellbound during his 3 minutes appearance.

Srijit has taken a few real life elements from the four leads of the film – two of them being Aparna Sen’s “Trina Di” and Parambrata’s “Hawa Bodol Katakuti” reference. The dialogues, penned by Srijit himself, are a reflection of his intelligence (as always) and keep us engaged throughout.

Cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee, a favourite at the YRF studios who has Dhoom 3 and Chak De India to his name, works wonders for the film. Shot in 5 different tones, the film distinctly allows you to enjoy the visual orgasm.

With indoor sequences predominant in the film, the set design has been looked upon intricately. A self potrait wall-hanging is a common factor present in all the four directors’ residents.

Editor Rabiranjan Moitra could have been better with the scissors as the film, with a 2 hours 21 minutes running time, seems a bit stretched. Also one or two subplots look redundant.

The music composed by Srijit’s favourite, Anupam Roy complements the film pretty well. Lagnajita’s “Bawshonto Eshe Gechhe” fits perfectly in the Paayel-Indrasish shoot sequence. Boba Tunnel is another favourite. The film, like 22shey Srabon, ends with a Rupankar Bagchi number.

Indradip Dasgupta’s background score sinks in as your heart races through every moment of the movie.

They say, “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” Srijit proves it wrong with his fresh new preparation, ready to be served and enjoyed during the Pujas. Go, taste it as it will soothe your tasting buds.

Highway 2014 (Bengali Film)

Written by Abhikendu Deb Roy.

Ratings 2.5/5.

“Amra kara? Manush na Mukhosh?”

Highway is all about realising how precious your love is and indoctrinates in clinging on to your relationships.

At times being interesting while most of the times being a bore, this Highway is a bumpy ride with several potholes, hither and thither.

Directed by newcomer Sudipto Chattopadhyay, Highway starts off on a low note, with most of the actors looking pretty jaded, but garners a little interest and grabs a few eyeballs as the film progresses.

For the first 15 to 20 minutes, the viewers are left in a maze, having a faint idea of the destination in this long-stretch of road. The film could have been handled in a much more mature way, had it been handed over to a well-experienced filmmaker.

Parambrata Chatterjee and Koyel Mullick have been paired together for the second time. However, the Param-Koyel pairing was much more influential in Hemlock Society – the spark clearly missing out in this film.

Needless to say, Parambrata, being a gem of an actor, is to lookout for in this film.

Gaurav Chakraborty, who has an extended cameo, appears quite beguiling in his ‘Ranbir Rockstar Kapoor’ look. Singer-actor Silajit Majumdar has an amazing charm as a middle-aged widower poet, the character being highly opposite to his real life ebullient personality.

Dipankar Dey overdoes his role and doesn’t justify the character which the director had imagined originally. Sabitri Chattopadhay and Rita Chakraborty stick to the characters and do all the magic with their expressions.

Director Sudipto Chattopadhyay, who also has been credited for the screenplay, must have penned down the story for a short film. The roots of the plot are weak and could have been handled in a much better way.

What is ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ about Highway is the music. Anupam Roy does wonders with the soundtrack of the film – almost all the songs being highly audible and a pleasure to our ears.

The background music is also another aspect of the film you cannot ignore; it makes the long drive in the never-ending Highway a bit more interesting.

Highway, almost entirely shot in Darjeeling, captures the hilly frames of the Himalayas in a rather alluring manner. The viewers are enraptured by the sceneries portrayed all throughout the movie and credits must be given to R Dee for the cinematography.

The Kolkata leg of the film (which is hardly 2 minutes altogether) projects the usual Victoria Memorial, Maidan and Princep Ghat sequences. Rabi Ranjan Moitra, the editor, should have devoted some extra time for this film; though the film’s running time is a bit less than 2 hours but it actually seems to be a real long ride in the Highway.

Final Verdict: Lack of experience, weak storyline and unnecessary sub-plots spoil the flow of the film. A perfect casting and some good music save the film from drowning.

You might just want to give this Highway a miss. Instead, grab a DVD of the Hindi namesake (Alia Bhatt starrer) and warm up your couch.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYqS6pIA6lo